BOSTON - The Bruins were sick and tired of losing. Especially to the Capitals.
The Bruins entered the clash of the Eastern Conference division leaders losers of eight of the past nine and 1-13-3 in their last seventeen meetings with the Capitals. Braden Holtby seemingly transformed into a brick wall each time he faced the team with the spoked ‘B’ on their sweaters.
So naturally, the Bruins scored four first period goals and never looked back.
As the goals mounted for the black and gold, the frustration correspondingly increased for the Capitals. Even after the outcome of the contest had been decided, players in white jerseys continued to move their feet through hits. Some contact originated away from the play or when the puck was no longer with a Bruins player - the Capitals were going to hit anyone and everyone.
The physical nature of the game took its tole on the Bruins, as Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy both left the game due to thunderous hits. Per Bruce Cassidy, Krug suffered an upper body injury and McAvoy is expected to be okay.
“There were a few incidents tonight, I imagine Player Safety might be a little busy,” said Cassidy postgame. “If it was a guy like a Marchand of the world, it would get looked at.”
The Bruins propelled themselves to an early lead, beating Braden Holtby four times on 11 shots in the first period. Holtby was subsequently yanked after 20 minutes, opening the the defensive door as Ilya Samsonov took over in his place.
Tom Wilson took liberties into his own hands, spearing Pastrnak in his meatballs. Wilson continued his usual antics later in the shift, which is when Pastrnak boiled over and hit Wilson in the face. The always mild mannered Wilson naturally attacked the Atlantic Division All-Star captain and suddenly all ten skaters in the ice were engaged in fisticuffs. Wilson was subsequently ejected from the contest.
Lost in the physical fray was the outstanding performance put on by the Bruins. The team neutralized Washington on the regroup, frustrating the Capitals with incessant pressure and forechecking hard on their mobile defensemen.
Six different Bruins scored and the B’s capitalized in all aspects of the game, scoring on the power play twice, even strength, and shorthanded. Charlie Coyle notched his 100th career goal, elevating the puck over Samsonov’s glove while shorthanded from a nice feed from Brad Marchand.
The Bruins go into the holiday break on a high note and will resume play on December 27, when they travel to Buffalo to battle the Sabres.